The story about the Catholic school in the Diocese of Denver not allowing the children of a Lesbian couple to attend has certainly taken off in the media and of course raise a lot of protest from the homosexual community.
I certainly agree with Archbishop Charles J. Chaput who calls it a “painful situation.” Even when an action is taken correctly for the right reasons it does not prevent the suffering of those involved. As Archbishop Chaput also said:
“If parents don’t respect the beliefs of the Church, or live in a manner that openly rejects those beliefs, then partnering with those parents becomes very difficult, if not impossible.”
There is a comparable situation when it comes to the baptism of children. For example in Canon law:
Canon 868. For the licit baptism of an infant it is necessary that: … (2) there be a founded hope that the infant will be brought up in the Catholic religion; if such a hope is altogether lacking, the baptism is to be put off according to the prescriptions of particular law and the parents are to be informed of the reason.
While education is different from baptism there is some commonality and it is rather difficult in this sad situation that the children will receive the proper reinforcement of what the Church teaches generally and their living situation specifically denies part of what the Church teaches. There is also of course the scandal caused by such a situation that attempts to normalize a same-sex relationship as being equal to heterosexual marriage. It is very sad that the children are caught in the middle of this, but the same-sex couple raising them put them in this situation in the first place. Whether or not they understood what the policy was or the fact the the school would be actually faithful to Archdiocese policy is something we don’t know.
Fr. Breslin who made the decision comments are well worth reading in full.
This past week we implemented a policy that has been the most difficult decision of my life. The choice could have been made to do nothing and allow a lesbian couple to enroll their child in our Kindergarten. But that choice would have been against Archdiocesan policy; and when a priest is ordained he promises obedience to his bishop; and I cannot violate that vow; and I will not.
The choice before me was either to protect the beliefs of our faith or pretend nothing was happening. But our school, after all, is a Catholic school. And our reason for existence, both as a parish and as a Catholic school, is to make disciples of Jesus Christ. Being disciples of Jesus Christ is very demanding. Yes, being disciples entails adherence to the many examples of Jesus’ love: love one another as I have loved you; be not the first to throw a stone; judge not lest you be judged. Think of the Good Samaritan story and the Prodigal Son.
Society and way too many Catholic institutions have decided that “nothing was happening” and thus have ignored or even aided such situation. He goes on to talk about repentance and the sanctity of marriage. Though I would quibble with the following.
Would that I could wave a magic wand and make all of the present struggle disappear. I hate the fact that I had to make a choice between being loving and protecting the teachings of the church.
I would certainly argue that there is not a choice in this case between protecting the faith and loving those involved. Love is willing the good for the other and when you act for their good by not affirming something that is objectively grave sin you are in fact committing an act of love. Reminding someone that they are in fact sinning when it is down prudentially is an act of mercy. If he had ignored the situation he would not have not been loving them in any way. The culture, as it often does, gets things totally backwards. They call promoting same-sex relationships as good and any objection as hatred and homophobia. When you ignore sin calling it good it does not eliminate the effects of sin and does harm even with the most sincere motives. So often what is called sincere is really SINcere in that it affirms instead of rebuking sin.
One thing that has annoyed me in these stories is that in almost all of them they are called Lesbian “parents.” Well perhaps one of them is the biological parent, but the other is the person they are living with. Same-sex relationships by their very nature are not fruitful. It is easy to understand all of the confusion considering the state of heterosexual relationships concerning fornication, divorce, and adultery. Too often heterosexual couples try to make their relationships just as unfruitful as same-sex ones via contraception and abortion.
We should certainly pray for the children involved, the same-sex couple, those scandalized by the truth of what the Church teaches; along with Archbishop Chaput and Father Breslin who defended the truth.
Fr. Z’s comments on the story.